Release the Day by Barney McAll successfully incorporates the spiritual essence of Santerian rhythms and the aesthetics of McAll's own unique musical synthesis. Accompanied by special guests alto saxophonist Gary Bartz, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, and drummer Joey Baron, McAll creates an ambient, meditative sound on eight originals that feature Cuban, Jamaican, and jazz elements. This inspired set begins with a tribute to Elegua, a Santerian Orisha, titled "Thirty Three." Bassist Tony Scherr introduces the piece with an ostinato that anchors the piece for nearly 16 minutes as Bartz, McAll, and Baron develop and build beautiful solos that take you directly to the source of McAll's inspiration. On "Obatala," they address the desire of the listener to preserve the spirituality in jazz, with Bartz getting to the roots of John Coltrane's essence through imaginative saxophone riffs framed with Santerian rhythmic tranquility, savory Afro-Cuban rhythms, and McAll's consistent level of impeccable piano grace. Tenor saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum, trombonist Clark Gayton, and trumpeter Fabio Morgera join Bartz to shine on the soulful title track, "Release the Day." The personnel assembled for this CD propel it past McAll's previous efforts due to their exceptional improvisations, musical ideas, and imaginative implementation of Santerian rhythms that surround the ambience of this excellent program.
AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein